Sir Alex Ferguson: Arsene Wenger was ‘incredulous’ over RVP fee

Sir Alex Ferguson says Arsene Wenger couldn't believe Manchester United were not willing to pay £25m to sign Robin van Persie

robin van persie
Robin van Persie scored 26 Premier League goals last season Photo: Nike

Sir Alex Ferguson says Arsene Wenger could not believe that Manchester United were not willing to stump up £25m to sign Robin van Persie from Arsenal last summer.

In his latest autobiography, Ferguson reveals that the Gunners were demanding a £25m transfer fee for the Netherlands international after it became clear that the striker had his heart set on leaving north London.

But Ferguson insists that the Red Devils never had any intention of paying £25m for the striker, before the two clubs settled on a deal which ended up being worth £24m to Wenger’s side.

“I warned Arsene we would never get to £25m. Arsene was incredulous. He could not believe that Manchester United wouldn’t stretch to £25m for such a player,” Ferguson wrote in his autobiography.

“I told him again: I wouldn’t go to £25m. Arsene asked what my best offer would be. Answer: £22m. The reply was that Arsenal would take £22.5m and a further £1.5m if we won the Champions League or Premier League during the period of his contract. Deal done.”

Van Persie scored 26 league goals last season as the Red Devils won the title in Ferguson’s final season in charge.

Ferguson also expressed his surprise that Van Persie ended up seeking an exit from The Emirates.

He added: “Like everyone in the business, I had been reading that Van Persie’s contract was about to expire, but I felt sure Arsenal would reach a deal to stop him leaving. Towards the end of the 2011-12 season, however, I sensed increasingly that he would not be staying in London.

“The sticking point was that Arsene hoped to receive £30m or more for his best player. It continued to drag on for several weeks, during which time I phoned Arsene two or three more times.

“In time we all arrived at the point where Arsenal knew Robin was not going to re-sign and accepted that. Their options were Juventus or United. Arsenal were trying to sell him abroad, but the player only wanted to join us.”

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